We propose to identify in physics what the Hindu concept of consciousness is. First here is a description of the different forms of consciousness recognized in Hinhuism.
“There are myriad gradations of consciousness, from the simple sentience of inanimate matter to the consciousness of basic life forms, to the higher consciousness of human embodiment, to omniscient states of superconsciousness, leading to immersion in the One universal consciousness, Parashakti.”
From this description, consciousness does not need to be self-aware. Even inanimate matter has consciousness.
Now let us assume that consciousness is that which is common to all the above types of consciousness. What possible physics of particles, that make up inanimate matter, could be the same in animal consciousness, or human consciousness in it's various forms (e.g., waking, sleeping, etc), and even the omniscient states of superconsciousness, whose different states are not know to most, except that they are called omniscient, all knowing.
What physical property of particles could be the same as the fundamental property of an all knowing state of superconsciousness. In physics totally entangled superfluids are said to behave like one particle, just like the two particles of EPR experiments know instantly what happens to the other.
We have previously argued that a collection of extremely massless particles like axions are a superfluid, and in particular a Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC). Not all superfluids are BECs. But the axionic BEC is what gives us the essential clue.
The size in 3-dim space of a particle's wave function is inversely dependent on its mass. The De Broglie wavelength is inversely proportional to particle mass, and so is the particles wave function 1/e decay length. Since the mass of an axion is one billionth that of an electron, the axion wave function extends well beyond the earth.
So here we make an essential connection that should be acceptable physics. Superconsciousness is omnisicient because the particles of superconsciousness have greatly overlapping wave functions. It is like a particle's awareness decays inversely with distance. But of course a particle is not self-aware. However, considering the Hindu description of various kinds of consciousness. It seems that the common denominator is the particle wave function.
Therefore we propose that the fundamental basis of Hindu consciousness is the particle wave function. We are reminded of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics where Bohr stipulated that human consciousness was required to collapse wave functions. This proposal suggests that in reality the wave function itself is consciousness.
Hindu literature that states that consciousness precedes matter creation is consistent with this proposal if waves collapse into particles. Moreover, cosmologically, if the Higgs mechanism for creating massive properties of particles is correct, then before the universe cooled to the Higgs temperature, the wave functions of all particles were interconnected and the universe was, so to speak, totally conscious, but perhaps not intelligent.
Intelligence requires coherent wave functions, or if you wish coherent consciousness. But that's an elaboration. This proposal or hypothesis is that the fundamental unit of consciousness is the particle wave function. Now the wave function of a single particle is coherent, but hardly intelligent. Intelligence is a collective property. For perhaps the simplest illustration consider the double slit photon experiment. If the photon waves are coherent they can interfere after passing through the slits and form an interference pattern on the detector screen. But if the waves are incoherent, no interference pattern. By the way, although photons are massless, they have a finite wavelength and therefore are not a BEC.
So according to physics, the early universe was most likely totally chaotic and therefore unintelligent. It is likely that intelligence or coherence had to be regenerated in life forms. However, a concept of Hinduism is that coherence is re-established in black holes (Ref. http://www.yogayogayoga.org/wbodrevision.html) where it is called the “dense state”. This is consistent with Smolin’s CNS theory that black holes can create universes as well as the Hindu concept of universe creation from cosmic eggs.
That all aside, by claiming that wave functions are conscious, then everything is conscious, which really says little about our own consciousness which includes self-awareness and thinking or intelligence. We claim that intelligence at least requires coherence. But it seems to us that intelligence also requires the control of coherence such as is manifest with one’s imagination. Intelligent beings use willpower to think. We have no idea what physical mechanisms provide for controlled imagination or will power.
Richard Ruquist 2006